4. February 2009 22:11
Some of the developers in my office are heavy users of Microsoft's Virtual PC. I've stayed away from VPC, mostly because I thought it was clunky, slow and lacked features. I've used VMWare's workstation in the distant past, and I guess it's feature set spoiled me on what a Virtual Machine is supposed to do, as opposed to being simply a freebie check off.
I downloaded VMWare's Workstation 6.5 product today to demonstrate to my office. All I can say is WOW! It ran a virtualized Vista Business Edition machine much better than VPC. I was also able to use my USB smart card reader on the virtualized machine. VPC couldn't do this.
Our project manager ordered a copy for us today. I suspect, based on what I've shown other developers, that VPC will be history in our office in a very short period of time.
My advice? Don't go with a freebie VPC. Buy the real thing. In the long run, the $190 Workstation 6.5 solution will save you a lot more in time and frustration than Microsoft's Virtual PC 2007. Dual monitor support, advanced USB redirection with smart card capability and utterly superior performance on my dual core HP hardware is only the beginning of the feature set for this product. (The Unity feature and the built in Visual Studio add-on are just incredible features for debugging a program in a Virtual Machine.)